Overdrive Media Console for ipad/iphone

I am a little over half way through my first Overdrive Audiobook. Like my previous review of NetLibrary. Overdrive is a system that your local library system must subscribe to. Luckily I seem to have a progressive library system because they work with both Overdrive and Netlibrary. I thought they were the same system initially.

Once I realized they were different I surfed through Overdrives system. Once I found out that they have an iphone/ipad app to directly download audiobooks I had to try it out.

The checkout system is a little convoluted. If you are using a computer and want to listen on a computer then it is straight forward. Go to your local library site and click on the link to your local library’s overdrive page.  Checking out an audiobook depends on what you are doing to listen to it on.  It is easiest, and least mobile, to listen to it on your computer.

I wanted to try out the ipad app, so I had to install the app, open the browser on the ipad and find a book I wanted (it had to be an mp3 file, which really limited the number of books).  Once I found the book I wanted, I checked it out.  This initiated a file download, which opened the ipad Overdrive app.  Then it asks you if you want to download the files (all of them or just individual parts of the audiobook.)

From this point you just use the overdrive app.  It is a basic player and works fine.  It is an iphone app that works on ipad and not a native ipad app so it doesn’t look that good, but it works fine.  It also does not play through the ipod software, so if you go to another app, the audiobook stops.

I have listened to about 10 or 11 hours of Orson Scott Card’s Lost Boys.  But my two weeks is up and the files expired.  I went back to check the book out again, but someone else has it on hold so I have to wait until another copy is available.  Unlike a regular paper library book you cannot just keep the book until you are done and pay the fine later.  There are no fines, but there is no book to listen to either.

Overall I like Overdrive as a system.  There are more books than NetLibrary and the checkout system with the ipad app works well enough.  On NetLibrary the mp3 files did not actually expire, I just had to be honest and delete them when I was done.  On Overdrive the files work the way they were intended by the publishers but I lost access to the file before I was done.  I guess that is the way DRM works.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] I have been burning through my Audible.com book credits.  I have a plan that gives me 24 audiobooks a year.  I am two months into the plan and already used 10 of the credits.  So I decided to try some alternative audiobook sources.  My local libary participates in Overdrive, which is an online audio and ebook site that allows you to check out books via the internet and then use them for 14 or 21 days.  After 14 or 21 days your books expire and you have to check them out again.  I wrote a review of the service here. […]

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